Recently, the boss lady and I had an opportunity to visit the island of Bermuda….via the cruiseship “Carnival Pride.” The cruise was 6 days and 5 nights. It just so happened to correspond with my work week. Coincidence? I think not. The good DR was on vacation!! Whoo Hoo…no work, no internet, no email, just me and the boss lady….
The cruise line we took was Carnival Cruise Lines and the name of the ship was Pride, Carnival Pride that is. The ship currently calls Baltimore, MD home, and it was from there that we sailed. As I stated earlier, the cruise was 6 days (Actually four full days and two partial days). The sailing itself was relatively uneventful. The cruise director; “Matey” was from England…and was a barrel of laughs. Matey seemed to be everywhere, all the time. Whoever hired this guy made the right choice.
The cruise was for me – very relaxing. The previous couple of weeks have been…..stressful. For those very few who know me (specifically my cat), you know that I don’t get stressed easily (unless the boss lady or my children are around). When I heard the blasts from the ship’s horn indicating we (i.e. the ship) was underway…a huge weight seemed lifted from my shoulders. For the next few days….my biggest decision would be what to eat. And to my culinary delight…the decision got harder and harder as the time went by…the food was all very good. Right dab in the middle of our cruise, we had a port call at the Royal Dockyard in Bermuda. After our short, 24 hour stay; we were underway again for our return to Baltimore, MD. I enjoy being underway, especially when the ship isn’t painted gray and we sleep 3-high.
There were activities planned all throughout the day, and each night the room stewards left the “Fun Times” with the next days activities listed so you could plan your day. These guides had activities for all age groups. There were a few families with small children; but I was really surprised at the number of disabled folks on-board. You had to wonder, if something went wrong; how would all of these folks be taken care of? Another thing that caught my attention was…on the fore’castle there were four propeller blades bolted down. They were probably cargo destined for Bermuda…but it just touched my funny bone, along with the magnetic compass and voice tube on the first deck.
Now, let’s talk Bermuda. Wow; what a gem this place is!! I had never been there..but I would go again in a heartbeat. If you love the beach and golfing…this just may be your Mecca. Bermuda has a very interesting history (I encourage you to read this, as it is from the English perspective) and is thought to have been discovered by Juan de Bermudez (by accident). In 1556 a French ship captured a Spanish ship, which ran aground on the reefs off Bermuda. The French left 45 men behind; most of the crew managed to build a boat and sail back to the Caribbean. But several were left stranded in Bermuda. Maybe these were the first settlers?
On July 28, 1609 – the Sea Venture, on her maiden voyage, and on her way to Jamestown, Virginia, ran aground on the reefs off of Bermuda. All the crew and passengers survived; a total of 150 people, and most of the food which was meant for the starving colonists in Jamestown, Virginia. The famous John Rolfe was among the stranded; along with his pregnant wife. His wife later died on Bermuda, and John Rolfe and all but three of the survivors made their way to Virginia. John Rolfe would go on to marry a young lass named: Pocahontas.
Fast forward a hundred and fifty’ish years, yes…a whole bunch of stuff happened, but I don’t want to spoil your reading. Sprint ahead for a second to the US revolution. One of the consequences of our independence was the Royal Navy no longer had any ports in this hemisphere. The Royal Navy now took great interest in Bermuda. The Royal Navy Dockyard was born.
Now; let’s jump again to the mid 1800s (Yep, I skipped the war of 1812). During the US Civil War, England sympathized with the Confederates, and in Bermuda there was much money to be made. Confederate blockade runners would sail to Bermuda, unload their holds of cotton, restock full of materials needed by the south, and set sail back to the southern harbors, running past the Northern blockade. The British were very concerned that the US would try and invade Bermuda, and took steps to prevent this from happening.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed out vacation; and I look forward to returning to Bermuda. But next time I’ll stay longer. If you’d like to take a look at the pictures of our vacation, feel free.